We are SO excited that our latest anthology, OFF BEAT: Nine Spins on Song is launching on Amazon tomorrow!!! We snagged contributing author, Corinne O’Flynn when she stopped by the WIB office to help us celebrate, and got her take on music, inspiration for her short story ONE FINAL DEATH and a peek into her authorness!

  1. What about music inspires you/touches you the most? The melody, the lyrics or both? What do you listen to while writing? It is probably a combination of both, with a strong nod to lyrics. I can’t imagine a fabulous set of lyrics being enjoyed if the music isn’t a good fit with it. When I hear a song that catches me, I usually dig deeper to see if I can find interviews where the songwriters or the band share the inspiration or if there is something deeper at play. This is not to say that I only like “meaningful” songs make it to my playlists, but there is something extra special when you can find a beautiful song with a great story behind it. I don’t usually listen to music while I write, but when I do, it’s instrumental classical or spa-type music. I can’t have lyrics going while I am writing – it’s way too distracting.
  2. How has your taste in music changed over the years? If not, what makes you loyal to the same artists’ years later? What attracts you to new artists? I don’t think my music taste have changed too much over the years. I move through different seasons with what I am in the mood to listen to, but there will always be classic favorites and new artists whose music strikes a chord with me. I am an avid music lover, so I tend to seek out new and old favorites all the time. My tastes range across the spectrum, from heavy metal to country, and folk rock to classical. If I like it, that’s all it takes.
  3. What other songs did you consider before making a final choice for OFF BEAT? Did they have similar messages? What made you choose the one you did over the others? While deciding on a song for my OFF BEAT story, Panic! At the Disco’s Victorious was my first choice. I think it’s a fantastic song, but the lyrics had potential for stories that could go in a lot of different directions. I loved the lines: Fifty words for murder / and I’m every one of them / My touch is black and poisonous. So writing a tragic hero with a death-touch felt like a fun way to go. The other song I was thinking of also happened to be a Panic! Song: Golden Days. This one felt like a potential detective/time-travel story. The lyrics there that inspired me are:

    I found a pile of Polaroids 

    In the crates of a record shop 

    They were sexy, sexy looking back 

    From a night that time forgot, hmm 

    Boy he was something debonair in 1979 

    And she had Farrah Fawcett hair 

    Carafes of blood red wine, hmm

    Both stories would have been different. I don’t write stories with a “message” in mind. But if I had done, I think these would have been very different.

  4. How would you compare your writing to the musicians that you listen to? Do you have similar messages or ways at looking at life, tragedy, love? If I had to compare what I try to do with my writing to how I experience music, I think I would have to say it’s about the journey. A good song takes you away for a time, using emotion, memory, experience, or wishes and dreams. I try to do that with my stories. I don’t think of my writing as being like or unlike the music I listen to. I think of songs as glimpses of larger stories, like iceberg where the song is the tip and the story is huge and just under the surface. And a good story can be like a song in that it sticks with you.
  5. If you were asked to write another short story version of the same song, but in a different genre, what would it be and why? If I had to write another story using the same song, I would make it a detective story, where we are trying to track down a serial killer whose victims are dying in some weird and specific way. The murderer would, of course, be a complex person with strange compulsions and their M.O. would be fabulously creepy and dark.

Thank you Corinne for sitting down and sharing with WIB fans! For more information about Corinne and her other books, visit her website www.corinneoflynn.com

Written by Sue Duff

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